When I do sing a lead role, I have a habit of risking everything that my mind, body, heart and voice can manage to bring out a performance that will lift others. And all of that is happening now.
In one week, we will open Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at Opera Idaho.
Although Nemorino is not a role I have particularly wanted to do, it is a role that I have ended up doing well. For this, I am grateful. And as a result of my enthusiasm, I feel rewarded in many ways.
First, I feel fortunate to sing in a tremendous cast including Christopher Job, Jason Detwiler, and Jena Carpenter. I feel it a particular serendipity to sing with my soprano, Cecilia Violetta Lopez. As I said to her last rehearsal, “I feel like we’ve known each other for a very long time.” Her voice is easy and ringing. Her personality is tender and yet, flexible. She is a perfect Adina, and such a relief to be able to sing with.
Second, though the role sits low, my voice has been able to manage the bottle-neck passagio range effortlessly. So much so, that the conductor has had me interpolate two high C’s.
What can I say? When you rock, you rock.
Third, I feel valued by the company. I know they are a small regional company, but it goes a long way when the general director and staff treat you with enough respect to talk to you, let a lone – look at you…
Finally, I can spread my wings. With small roles, the challenge is being able to support your lead colleagues; get in and out on time and make that character work in the storyline. All of this is also true of a lead, but it feels so good to carry that story continuously from scene to scene and project some dynamism. And also, arias and high notes… God, it feels good to sing some frickin’ high notes!!!